Moving to Hawaii from Mainland

Moving to Hawaii from Mainland

There’s a never-ending list of reasons to move to Hawaii. Beautiful sights, tropical weather, unique things to do, and fantastic culture, to name a few. Moving to Hawaii from Mainland will provide you and your family with a change of pace, whether you’re moving for work, school, or just a new adventure.

Cost of Moving to Hawaii from Mainland

You’re looking at a current one-way flight price of about $315. Vehicle shipping costs depend on the service you use and what type of car you have before considering the cheapest way to move to Hawaii.

The average cost of moving a 3-bedroom house to Hawaii is between $5,000-$10,000 (give or take). So, if you have a lot of large, bulky items, you will be paying more.


After you’ve decided on moving to Hawaii from the mainland, at the same time, you research how your move will go smoothly and soon be a thing of the past. So before you pack up your items and book a one-way ticket to Hawaii, here are few things you should know when it comes to moving to Hawaii from the mainland.

Get rid of most of your items, or keep most of your possession in storage

  1. Plan the move yourself 
  2. Hire a full-service moving company 

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Cost of living 

Few places in the world share quite the same brand recognition as Hawaii does except for maybe New York City, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and other iconic destinations made famous by historical culture or Hollywood, then get procedures for moving to Hawaii from the mainland to enjoy a new living standard. 

Studies have the cost of living in Honolulu requires residents to have an income of $120,000+ are needed to live comfortably in the state’s capital after successfully following the tips for moving to Hawaii.

This is subjective, of course, but according to the U.S. Census, Honolulu’s median household income was around $80,000 in 2019. According to a study, the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii, is 88% higher than the national average, with housing clocking in at 202% higher than the national average. 

Hawaii is a paradise for many reasons, but it’s also a difficult place to live for most because of the economy with the consciousness that Hawaii is followed by Washington, then California. This ranking makes Hawaii more expensive than California based on the cost of living.

Median Home Cost$621,700
Utilities 185.5
Transportation 108.4

Tips for Moving to Hawaii with pets

The animal quarantine program was established in 1912 when it was determined that rabies was endemic in California. To prevent the disease from entering the islands, pet owners are required to complete the following as one of the processes on moving to Hawaii from the mainland with pets: 

1. Rabies vaccinations

You’ll need to provide proof of at least two current rabies vaccinations, and a licensed vet must administer the vaccines no less than 30 days apart. The most current vaccine must be administered at least 30 days before the pet arrives in Hawaii (but the vaccine still needs to be effective).

The vet should check the vaccine’s licensed booster interval listed on the manufacturing label to ensure it’s given at the right time before considering moving to Hawaii from the mainland.

2. OIE-FAVN blood test

A veterinarian must take a FAVN (Fluorescent Antibody Serum Neutralization) blood sample from your pet and send it to an approved lab for testing. Time this test, so it’s completed more than 30 days (but less than three years) before the move. 

3. Microchip implantation

All pets must have a working electronic microchip implanted. Contact your vet about implanting a microchip for additional information because Hawaii quarantine laws require the microchip be planted before the OIE-FAVN test because it’s necessary to identify the blood sample as one of the tips for moving to Hawaii with pets. 

4. Mandatory waiting period

After receiving a successful OIE-FAVN test result, there is a 30-day mandatory waiting period before you can plan on how to move to Hawaii with your pet. Test results are available through your vet’s office or the Animal Quarantine Microchip Search. 

5. Documents and payment

Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Station (AQS) requires all pet owners to complete and submit the following: Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-279, two rabies vaccinations certificates (signed in ink by your veterinarian), and payment (cashier’s check or money order). 


If your pet is flying into Honolulu (on the island of Oahu), the Animal Quarantine Station (AQS) must receive all documents 10 days before the pet’s arrival following procedures on moving to Hawaii from the mainland.

Owners flying their pet to the Islands of Hawaii, Maui, or Kauai must send documents at least 30 days in advance and request a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit (NIIP) to fulfill the method for moving to Hawaii from the mainland. 

When traveling to Hawaii with pets, there are three quarantine options:

  1. Direct Airport Release (DAR), 
  2. the 5-Day-or-Less program, or 
  3. the 120-Day quarantine option. 

NOTE: According to procedures on moving to Hawaii from the mainland, your pet is only eligible for DAR and the 5-Day-or-Less program if:

* You’ve completed and submitted the paperwork at the correct time

* The FAVN Rabies Antibody test result is successful 

* The 30-day waiting period has been completed 

Animals that enter the state before the 30-day mandatory waiting period, without the proper rabies vaccines or paperwork, or without an OIE-FAVN blood test, or forgoing another step on how to relocate to Hawaii can result in disqualification, and the animal will be transferred to the Animal Quarantine Station for a 120-day quarantine period. 

Before your pet travels to Hawaii, consider these factors as one of the following

Cheapest ways to move to Hawaii with pets 

1. Age

The Hawaiian government suggests not bringing old animals as they may not travel well. They also recommend not transporting very young animals. Because puppies and kittens must wait until a certain age to receive both rabies shots, they will be at least six months or older before the requirements are complete. 

2. Health

Chronically ill or debilitated animals may not travel well. Also, pregnant animals are banned from entering, and any pet discovered to be pregnant will be hospitalized at an approved veterinary facility at the owner’s expense.  


3. Adaptability

Hawaii has warm, tropical weather year-round and may not be the ideal environment for breeds that thrive in colder climates. 

4. Breed

The quarantine brochure states, “non-domestic dogs, cats, and hybrids such as wolf, wolf cross, Dingo, Bengal, Savannah, etc. are prohibited under Plant Quarantine Branch Laws.” as one of the steps on how to relocate to Hawaii with pets.

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5. Taxes 

Compared to the national average, Hawaii’s top income tax rate of 11% is high. Still, the state also has the lowest effective property tax rate of just 27% annually, making it reflective of how to move to Hawaii.

There is no literal state sales tax, but businesses must pay a 4% general excise tax on all business activities, plus an 0.5% override for Honolulu County. Below are the Hawaii income tax brackets for Single Filers and Married Filing Jointly.

IncomeTax Rate
first $2,400 of taxable income1.4%
between $2,401 and $4,8003.2%
between $4,801 and $9,6005.5%
between $9,601 and $14,4006.4%
between $14,401 and $19,2006.8%
between $19,201 and $24,0007.2%
between $24,001 and $36,0007.6%
between $36,001 and $48,0007.9%
between $48,001 and $150,0008.25%
between $150,001 and $175,0009%
between $175,001 and $200,00010%
$200,001 and above11%

Using the above scenario of a “low income” earner of $93,000 — we’ll compute their net wages using a federal tax rate of 22% and the Hawaii income tax rate of 8.25% per the chart.

The individual’s net wages, after taxes, pencil out to $64,635 annually, which equates to $5,386/mo for housing and everyday expense. 

How to get a job in Hawaii before moving there

Finding a job in Hawaii is that nobody gets a job offer and guarantee until you are at least on the island where the job is located after completing the process on how to relocate to Hawaii. There are very few exceptions.

The reason is that the vast majority of job applicants that phone in from outside Hawaii never make it to Hawaii to interview because they fail to follow the steps for moving to Hawaii from the mainland. Things come up, plans change. Companies don’t even bother.

Related: How to Get a Job in Another State

Can you move to Hawaii without a job?

Getting a job in the Hawaiian Islands will require doing a lot before you even arrive. Number one, you had better have savings. As a single person trying to move to Hawaii and find employment, you should have about $10,000 saved before considering how to relocate to Hawaii.


That should last you two, maybe four months if you’re frugal. There is a chance you will not find a job in that time, so you should have an excellent bail-out plan when you realize you’re not going to pull it off and get hired. 

1. The way you will find a great job in Hawaii is by connecting with people who live and work here.

2. Online is your lifeline to connect with people when finding a job in Hawaii

3. Do your research on your profession

4. Connect with local communities in finding a job in Hawaii

5. Plan to live for 6months with no income

6. Volunteer to help with everything

7. Connect and network with everyone when finding a job in Hawaii

8. Embrace the culture

Your goal is to get to know as many people as you can and show them that you are embracing the culture and people because it’s one of the most important things you will need to do to be accepted.


Rent prices for Apartments in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation, but how much exactly depends on which island you’re on and which side of each island you’re on.


Honolulu Apartments is taking the prize of highest in the state. This is due mainly in part to their proximity to the business district and the majority of the Honolulu jobs.

Here’s the average rent to expect for apartments in Hawaii and/or single-family home rents:

* Studios | $1,000 – $1,300

* One-bedrooms | $1,400 – $1,700

* Two-bedrooms | $1700 – $2,100

* Three-bedrooms | $2,100 – $2,600

These are mere average ranges, and these numbers can fluctuate significantly depending on the presence of ocean views or proximity to the ocean.

What is the average living wage in Hawaii?

As of Jun 5, 2021, the average annual pay for the Average jobs category in Hawaii is $73,973 a year. Approximately $35.56 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,423/week or $6,164/month.

The average pay range for an Average job varies greatly (as much as $25,566), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience which can only be determined after following the process of moving to Hawaii from the mainland.


Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (“HHSC”) provides accessible, high-quality, cost-effective services that address the healthcare needs of Hawaii’s unique island communities.

HHSC is the “Safety Net” for Neighbor Island Acute Care and for Long-Term Care (“LTC”) in the State of Hawaii. This means that HHSC facilities provide services to all regardless of whether an individual has health insurance or the ability to pay for the health care service they receive.

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, its Regions, and Facilities comply with applicable Federal, State, and Local civil rights laws and rules. They do not discriminate based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Why is Hawaii so dangerous?

Since Hawaii is located in the middle of a vast ocean and the ocean bottom drops off quickly, the waves and currents can be very big and powerful.


Certain beaches are hazardous year-round, while others are dangerous at certain times of the year.

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Cheapest Place to live in Hawaii


Hilo is the largest city on the Island of Hawaii. The city offers a number of amenities and attractions but is not as luxurious or eye-catching as Honolulu. 

The biggest city to make this list and the third biggest city in Hawaii, Hilo ranks as the cheapest place to live in the state. Hilo is a major tourist destination thanks to being the principal city on the Island of Hawai’i.

Population: 45,056

Rank Last Year: 2

Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (8th most affordable)

Income To Rent Ratio: 60.6x (45th cheapest)

Your move is an exciting and fun time, but it should also be one that’s done with caution and realistic expectations, or else you may be one of the hundreds who move back to the mainland each year.

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